Il Chinese International Travel Monitor 2014 di Hotels.com
rivela le nuove tendenze dei viaggiatori cinesi:
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Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) 2014 di Hotels.com
This is the third edition of the Hotels.com™ Chinese
International Travel Monitor (CITM) which examines
in some detail the phenomenon of the huge growth
in outbound tourism by mainland Chinese travellers
and its impact on the global travel industry. It analyses
research taken directly from both Chinese international
travellers and hoteliers worldwide, combined with
Hotels.com own proprietary data and other research.
For the travellers’ survey,
Hotels.com commissioned TNS, a
world leader in market research, global
market information and business
analysis, to conduct a research
study amongst Chinese residents
in mainland China who had paid for
accommodation on an international
trip at least once in the past five years.
The research was conducted online
during April/May 2014 using an online
methodology, with a sample of 3,000
eligible respondents across China.
Minimum thresholds were set on key
demographics such as age, gender
and region to ensure a representative
sample that would allow analysis
of sub-groups. The questionnaire
covered topics including, but not
limited to, travel behaviour, booking
methods and accommodation choices.
For the opinion of hoteliers,
Hotels.com carried out a global
survey of more than 3,000
Hotels.com hotel partners during
May 2014. Responses were received
from Argentina, Australia, Brazil,
Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Hong Kong, India,
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Russia, Singapore, South Korea,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan,
Thailand, the UK and the USA.
Figures on different aspects of
spending, including prices paid
for hotel rooms, are quoted in
Chinese Renminbi (RMB) and
their US dollar equivalent, with
the relevant currency conversion
date recorded in the footnotes.
1. Market overview
2. Profile of the Chinese traveller
3. Booking trends
4. Accommodation choices
5. Hotel hotspots
6. Service tips
7. Where to go
8. How to choose
9. Spending power
10. What to do
11. The online bias
12. A closer look at traveller profiles
13. Hotel case studies
14. Country initiatives targeting Chinese outbound visitors
Abhiram Chowdhry, Vice President and
Managing Director APAC
of the Hotels.com brand
The figures surrounding the growth of the
Chinese outbound market are impressive
enough but, with a population of over
, no more than five per cent of
whom have passports, the potential for
future growth is extraordinary.
According to the Chinese National Bureau of
Statistics report, per capita disposable income
in China grew 10.9 percent in 2013, compared
with 2012, to 18,311 RMB (US$2,993) in 2013.
Amongst China’s urban residents, disposable
income rose 9.7 percent annually to
26,955 RMB (US$4,406) in 2013, compared
with 8,896 RMB (US$1,454) in the rural
population, recording a 12.4 per cent increase.2
In 2013, 97 million Chinese tourists travelled
abroad, up 14 million on 2012, according
to figures from the Tourism Administration
of China, who also predict that this figure
will pass the 100 million mark in 20143
number of Chinese outbound travellers in
the first three months of 2014 was estimated
by the Chinese Tourism Academy as
26.4 million, an increase of 17 per cent,
compared with the same period in 2013.
In terms of spending overseas, China took
over at the top of the list in 2012 and, in 2013,
extended its lead, increasing expenditure
by US$27 billion to a record US$129 billion,
according to the UNWTO (the United Nations
World Tourism Organisation), widening the gap
between the United States in second place.
CITM research shows that online is a priority
for Chinese travellers during all stages of
their holiday, whether planning, booking
or travelling. Internet penetration in China
climbed to 45.8 percent at the end of last
year from 42.1 percent in 2012. China ended
the year with 618 million internet users with
500 million accessing it via a mobile device4
according to the China Internet Network
Information. More than 90 per cent of internet
users reportedly have a social media account.
Infrastructure improvements are also
contributing to the growth. According to the
Chinese government’s current five-year plan,
the total number of airports in the country
is due to expand from 175 in 2010 to 230 in
2015. Last year, Boeing supplied a record
143 aircraft to Chinese carriers, including
14 long-range 787 Dreamliners, while
Airbus SAS delivered 133 planes, more
than 20 per cent of its global deliveries5
International airlines also continue to
add new services to the country.
In October 2013, the Chinese government
introduced new group travel regulations for
fairer trading between travel agencies and
tourists, requiring increased transparency
of the products included in the package
price and prohibiting outbound package
groups travelling on what the government
considers unreasonably low prices. This
has had the general effect of increasing the
upfront cost of tour package prices, quite
considerably in some cases, and has had
an initial impact on sales but some industry
leaders, such as the Changi Airport Group,
have said that they do not expect the new
travel regulations to have a lasting negative
impact on the numbers travelling, particularly
as the independent market is now so robust.
What hoteliers say
In the global hoteliers’ survey, results show
that the growth in the number of Chinese
guests continued. More than half (53 per cent)
of respondents say they have experienced
an increase in Chinese guests to their
property over last year, up from 45 per cent
in 2013. At a regional level, increases are
across the board. For APAC, this figure is
much higher at 74 per cent (up from 61 per
cent last year), with North America on 54 per
cent (up from 47 per cent), Europe on 43 per
cent (up from 36 per cent) and Latin America
on 30 per cent (up from 27 per cent).
Thirty per cent say they have experienced
growth of more than 10 per cent, up from
24 per cent in 2013, with this figure rising to
49 per cent in APAC, up from 35 per cent.
Hoteliers are still confident that this is a growing
market. Globally, 35 per cent expect an
increase of 1-10 per cent in the next three years,
30 per cent say 11-25 per cent, and a further
17 per cent believe it will be 26-50 per cent. In
Europe, these equivalent figures are 44 per
cent, 28 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.
Asian hoteliers are the most bullish as
14 per cent predict growth of 51-100+ per cent.
Globally, 12 per cent of hoteliers say that
Chinese travellers now account for as much
as 6-10 per cent of their business. APAC
takes the lead with 18 per cent, followed by
North America on 16 per cent, Europe on eight
per cent and Latin America on six per cent.
For a further 54 per cent, the proportion is
1-5 per cent so, for two-thirds of the hoteliers
globally, Chinese travellers now account
for up to 10 per cent of their business.
Percentage of growth in the number of Chinese travellers, as reported by hoteliers
1%-10% 11%-25% 26%-50%
51%-75% 76%-100% More than
3% 1% 2%
Profile of the Chinese traveller2.
On average, Chinese international travellers are
taking more trips abroad now than ever before.
The figure for 2014 is 4.67 times in the past five
years, compared with 3.53 trips in 2013.
The CITM shows that China’s international
travellers are still amongst the wealthier
of China’s citizens with an average annual
household income of 245,729 RMB
), compared with the Chinese
population average of 49,920 RMB
) in 2013. However, 21 per cent of
these travellers have a household income of
less than 100,000 RMB (US$16,1906
) per year.
This chapter examines the profile of the average
Chinese traveller by looking at the reasons for their
international travel, the length of their trip, whether they
prefer to travel independently or as part of an organised
group, their preferred travel companions, the most
popular travel times and how much they spend.
Chinese travellers do spend considerable
amounts when travelling abroad. Fifteen
per cent say that their average daily spend,
excluding accommodation, is more than
10,000 RMB (US$1,6196
), with two per cent
of these spending more than 50,000 RMB
). At the lower end of the scale,
36 per cent of travellers questioned spend
between 500 RMB and 2,000 RMB
) a day with a further 28 per
cent using between 2,001 RMB and
5,000 RMB (US$324-US$8106
The mean average spend per day when
travelling abroad, excluding accommodation, is
6,707 RMB (US$1,0866
Reasons for travel
Nearly all of China’s international travellers
have been abroad for leisure reasons (97 per
cent), while half (49 per cent) have visited other
countries for business or education purposes.
As stated earlier, they are also travelling
more frequently as the average number of
trips taken has risen for both business and
leisure. While leisure travellers tend to take
trips abroad more frequently than business
trips (an average 4.67 leisure trips in the past
five years compared to 4.07 for business),
the gap between the two has closed.
Hoteliers report that, in general, 22 per cent of
their Chinese guests combine business and
leisure, two percentage points higher than
12 months ago. This figure rises to 30 per cent
amongst North American hotels, up from 24 per
cent, and drops to 17 per cent in APAC.
Length of stay
Chinese travellers say that they typically
spend between one to two weeks (51 per cent)
away when travelling internationally. Trips
to see friends and relatives or for education
reasons are the longest in length (1.6 weeks
on average), while leisure trips are generally
shorter (1.4 weeks on average). Under a
strategic tourism plan launched in 2013, the
Chinese government is encouraging more of its
citizens to take holidays by reinforcing existing
regulations covering paid leave which could
impact how long travellers are able to stay
away in future.
Hoteliers report that Chinese guests tend to
stay between 2-3 nights (58 per cent) with a
further 28 per cent staying one night and just
11 per cent prolonging their visit to 4-6 nights,
showing that Chinese travellers do visit more
than one destination during their trips abroad.
Reasons for travelling abroad
Travelling with a partner and children
(54 per cent) or other family members
(46 per cent) remain the most popular options
amongst Chinese international travellers,
with friends (45 per cent) in third place.
Eighteen per cent of hoteliers report that
they had seen an increase in the number of
Chinese travellers staying in their properties
with family members and 17 per cent with
friends while another 14 per cent state that
both business travellers and those travelling
without children are also on the increase.
Independent or group?
In a trend first identified in the CITM in 2012,
a growing number of Chinese international
travellers (67 per cent –v– 62 per cent in 2013)
say that they prefer to make their own travel
arrangements when travelling abroad, rather
than joining an organised group, a growth of
five percentage points over 2013.
This development is reflected by hoteliers who
say that 71 per cent of their Chinese guests
now travel independently, up one percentage
point on last year. However, there is a marked
geographical split with hoteliers in APAC
reporting this figure as 77 per cent, with
75 per cent in Latin America, 72 per cent in
North America and 65 per cent in Europe.
Partner / Spouse with Children Family members
Friends Partner / Spouse without Children Alone
45% 26% 16%
When to travel
Hoteliers report that the busiest times
for Chinese guests in their properties
are in February at the time of the Spring
Festival (Chinese New Year) and around
the Labour Day holiday in May. Other
popular months are April and July.
When travelling abroad, Chinese travellers like
to conduct thorough research about how and
where to choose a holiday destination, consulting
almost five sources of information to help make
their decision compared with four in 2013.
Travel guide books, friends and online travel
websites are still the most popular sources of
information when making decisions, although
there is some evidence that these sources are
being used slightly less in favour of sources such
as social media: friends are down eight percentage
points to 52 per cent compared to 2013, while
social media climbed by six percentage points to
33 per cent, rising to 42 per cent for the under-35s.
When looking at the sources that Chinese
travellers rely on most to make decisions,
ultimately, personal interaction with family and
friends coming out on top, chosen by 27 per cent
of respondents, with online review sites such as
daodao.com, the Chinese version of TripAdvisor,
proving their worth, taking 16 per cent of the vote.
Similar to 2013, one in ten pick travel agents as
their most trustworthy source (10 per cent), the
same percentage that choose travel guides.
According to the latest figures from the China
Internet Network Information Center, China
now boasts more than 618 million internet
users, more than 80 per cent of whom
access the web via their mobile device8
This trend is reflected in the responses from the
Chinese international travellers, more than half
of whom (53 per cent) are now booking their
hotel accommodation either on the web or via
mobile apps, either directly with the hotel or
via an online travel company. The percentage
of those using mobile apps has risen from
six per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2014,
with younger people aged under-35 most
likely to choose this method (22 per cent
vs. 14 per cent of those aged over 35)
as well as 20 per cent of those favouring
making their own travel arrangements.
Moving in the other direction, the number
booking through a travel agent has fallen
slightly from 36 per cent last year to 34 per cent
this year, with older travellers twice as likely to
book through a travel agent (40 per cent for 35+,
moving to 56 per cent for 55+, vs. 20 per cent
for under-35s). Those using the hotel telephone
tumbled from 19 per cent to 12 per cent.
This chapter examines how Chinese international
travellers research their trip and the channels they use
to book their travel.
Sources of information that Chinese travellers use and rely on most when researching international travel
Source SourceUse UseRely on Rely on
Online accommodation /
Online review sites
Travel Magazines / Brochures
Promotions / Deals
Mobile app searches
This chapter examines the style of accommodation
preferred by Chinese travellers and the factors that
drive that decision.
Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Hotels remain the most popular type of
accommodation amongst Chinese travellers,
having increased in popularity since last year
(from 74 per cent to 84 per cent choosing this as
their preferred option). More than half (57 per
cent) are likely to book 3 or 4-star hotels when
they travel abroad with a further 17 per cent
electing for a 5-star property and seven per cent
preferring all-inclusive resorts.
Two-fifths (43 per cent) of Chinese international
travellers prefer to book hotels with an
independent local flavour, although this
response has decreased nine percentage points
since 2013, while international chain hotels have
increased in popularity (39 per cent vs. 27 per
cent in 2013).
Only 11 per cent prefer to stay in a Chinese-
style hotel, down from 15 per cent in 2013, yet
further confirmation of the growing confidence
and independence of Chinese travellers. There
is also a gender bias here with 13 per cent of
men choosing this option against nine per cent
of women and a marked age difference with
20 per cent of the over-55s preferring the more
Similar to last year, on the whole, Chinese
travellers are still fairly tolerant when it comes
to hotels that might not cater specifically for
Chinese needs with nearly two-thirds saying
they would consider them if necessary (63 per
cent vs. 64 per cent in 2013). Younger travellers
(23-29 age group) are more likely to consider
this type of hotel (71 per cent vs. 63 per cent
total). However, overall 19 per cent say they
would only book accommodation that provided
services expressly for travellers like them.
Factors driving decision
A hotel’s star-rating, comfort and facilities
mainly drive the booking decision, with
30 per cent choosing this as the most important
factor, up from 26 per cent in 2013. Its brand or
reputation are next on 18 per cent, up from
15 per cent in 2013. Price is again less of an
issue (10 per cent in both surveys).
Bed & breakfast
Hostels and backpackers
Accommodation booked most frequently by Chinese travellers
when travelling internationally
The provision of food is the most important
amenity provided by a hotel, whether in the
form of room service (57 per cent) or an on-site
restaurant (55 per cent). The business centre
comes some way behind on 25 per cent. The
figures for shopping again underline how
important this activity is to this group with
18 per cent voting for the hotel’s own stores.
Although participating in sport does not rate
highly in general while away from home,
some Chinese travellers certainly take
advantage of the hotel’s exercise facilities
with 17 per cent voting for the swimming
pool and 16 per cent for the gym.
The bar and casino are the least important
areas, only chosen by eight per cent of
respondents, although for the former there is
a bias amongst Chinese men (10 per cent) vs.
the women (six per cent).
Matching these findings, Chinese travellers
spend the most money in the hotel restaurant
(50 per cent) and on room service (21 per cent)
while the hotel bar and spa are less financially
significant on just seven per cent each.
Hoteliers also support these findings with
63 per cent acknowledging that Chinese
travellers spend most in the hotel restaurant
and on room service (21 per cent). However,
when it comes to drinking, their perception is
that the hotel bar and minibar feature higher up
the list with 39 per cent for the former and 24 per
cent for the latter.
However, 71 per cent of hoteliers admit that
Chinese travellers tend not to leave a tip when
using a hotel’s facilities.
This chapter examines the hotel facilities that are most
important to Chinese travellers and where they spend
the most money. It also takes a look in more detail at
the attitude of Chinese travellers to the popular topic of
food and drink while on the move.
Accor Hotels Sydney Olympic Hotel
Hotel amenities most important to Chinese travellers
Food and drink
Bringing together some of the results for
food-related questions, there is a very clear
indication of the importance of this area for
Chinese travellers, shown by the fact that
an astonishing 95 per cent of respondents
say that they have a meal at the hotel
restaurant on their trip. Both travellers and
hoteliers alike agree that this is where most
money is spent.
Seventy-three per cent rate the provision
of Chinese-specific food-related items as
among the most important services provided
by a hotel, with 37 per cent voting for
Chinese room service options and
33 per cent for Chinese breakfast.
Despite this, there is still the desire amongst
Chinese travellers to experience local cuisine.
The main reason given for eating outside the
hotel is the desire to experience the food of
their destination more closely. Dining is also
given as the second most important activity by
Chinese travellers when abroad, particularly
amongst the under-35 age group.
Cuisine in general forms part of the decision-
making process as to which destination to
choose for 29 per cent of respondents. It is
more important amongst female travellers
(32 per cent) rather than men (27 per cent) as
well as independent (33 per cent) compared
with organised group (21 per cent) travellers.
Chinese travellers are fairly open-minded
when it comes to hotels that might not cater
specifically for Chinese needs with nearly
two thirds saying they would consider them, if
necessary (63 per cent), particularly those in
the 23-29 age group (71 per cent). However,
they do have very decided views on the
products and services that are important to
them and which of these needs to improve.
Language-related products and services,
such as in-house Mandarin-speaking staff
and translated travel and tourism guides,
again rank as the most important amenities for
Chinese travellers in international hotels
(85 per cent in 2014, compared with 86 per
cent in 2013) and is also the area most in need
of improvement, moving even higher than
last year (80 per cent in 2014 vs. 75 per cent
in 2013). Set against this, nearly 20 per cent
of hoteliers feel that Chinese travellers have
improved their linguistic skills over the last five
years, either in English or in the local language.
Highlighting again the importance of
nourishment to Chinese travellers, 73 per cent
voted for food and drink-related items as one
of their priorities, with Chinese room service
options (37 per cent) and Chinese breakfast
(33 per cent) receiving the most votes.
Free Wi-Fi moved up to join Chinese payment
methods at the top of the list of most important
individual products and services, both chosen
by 59 per cent of travellers, with in-house
Mandarin-speaking staff in third place, selected
by 50 per cent. This last service is also the area
with the most room for improvement, in the
same position as 2013 but with a drop of three
Older Chinese travellers aged 55+ are more
likely to choose in-house Mandarin-speaking
staff (61 per cent vs. 50 per cent), Chinese
TV programmes (47 per cent vs. 36 per cent),
in-room kettle (34 per cent vs. 21 per cent), free
Wi-Fi (71 per cent vs. 59 per cent) and slippers
(20 per cent vs.15 per cent) as most important.
The only facility that they pick less often as
important is on-site shops selling luxury goods
(six per cent vs.12 per cent in 2013).
This chapter examines the products and services that
the hotels have introduced or adapted for Chinese
travellers, how these initiatives are perceived by their
guests, where improvements can still be made and the
level of investment hotels have made in this area.
Top 10 Chinese-specific products or services that are most important
on an international trip
Services / Products
China Union Pay / Alipay
In-house Mandarin-speaking staff
Translated travel/tourism guides
Hotel website in Mandarin
Chinese room service options
Chinese TV programmes
Translated welcome materials
On the whole, hoteliers have recognised
and are responding well to the needs of their
Chinese guests in many areas. For instance,
more than two-thirds (70 per cent) already offer
free Wi-Fi, the number one service requested.
There is some discrepancy between what
the Chinese travellers say is important to
them and what they request from hoteliers.
Thirty-nine per cent of travellers say that the
provision of in-house Mandarin-speaking staff
need improvement but the topic was only
raised with 15 per cent of hotels. Nine per cent
of hotels already have employees with this
language facility and another 11 per cent plan
on adding this service in the next 12 months.
Travel and tourism guides are mentioned by
48 per cent of Chinese travellers surveyed
but only 17 per cent requested this from their
hotel. Ten per cent already supply them with
a further 14 per cent intending to provide them
over the next year. The same is true with
Chinese TV programmes, cited by 36 per cent
of consumers but only 17 per cent of hoteliers.
Elsewhere, 23 per cent of hoteliers find
that smoking rooms are requested and a
quarter of hotels offer this option. On the
topic of the all-important language provision,
eleven per cent already localise their hotel
website in Mandarin and a further 16 per
cent plan to do so over the next year.
Fifteen per cent are currently providing
Chinese TV programmes with a further 12 per
cent introducing them over the next 12 months.
One in five hoteliers (20 per cent) say that they
offer specific room or floor number requests
for their Chinese guests. For instance, eight is
seen as a lucky number as the word sounds
similar to “prosper” or “wealth”. On the other
hand, four is considered unlucky, as its
pronunciation resembles “death”.
Many hoteliers are taking an active role
in promoting their hotel to the Chinese
market. Twenty-three per cent have
dedicated marketing programmes targeting
Chinese travellers, 20 per cent have
expanded their social media channels to
reach this market and 19 per cent offer
cultural awareness training for staff.
Globally, 50 per cent of hotels state that they
have invested up to US$10,000 in developing
programmes and products catering specifically
to the Chinese guest over the past 12 months,
down from 57 per cent in 2013. North American
hoteliers are ahead of their counterparts in the
rest of the world with 58 per cent investing up to
this level, followed by 52 per cent in APAC, 47 per
cent in Europe and 37 per cent in Latin America.
Despite the increasing growth of this market,
across the regions only a small portion of
hoteliers (four per cent) have invested between
US$10,000 and US$50,000 in developing
programmes or products specifically for
the Chinese market in the past 12 months.
However, the picture could be more positive
than this as 46 per cent of hoteliers chose not
to disclose the sums involved.
Top five Chinese-specific products or services that are most
requested by Chinese travellers on an international trip
Most requested Already offer
Plan to offer
Chinese TV programmes
Translated travel/ tourism guides
Specific room or floor number
Chinese tea Chinese TV
Where to go7.
A growing number of travel options are opening
up for Chinese international travellers. Rising
incomes, the increased confidence to travel
independently and try out new destinations,
easier research and booking options with the
growth of the internet, the relaxation of visa
regulations in many markets and more low cost
airlines launching more routes are all driving
this trend. Greater flexibility is already leading
to more freedom of choice, prompting a likely
change in travel habits and the destinations
There is a far greater appetite to see the new
rather than returning to former favourites.
Ninety-five per cent of Chinese international
travellers say they are more interested in visiting
different international destinations rather than
returning to places they have enjoyed in the
past, with little variation by age, interests or trip
The wish list
Once again, European destinations are the
most popular amongst Chinese travellers in
terms of places they wish to visit in the next
12 months with 75 per cent of responses. In the
Top 10, France and Switzerland keep hold of
their second and fifth places respectively, with
the UK in seventh, up two places from 2013 and
Germany entering the chart in tenth place.
More than one in two respondents (55 per cent,
up three percentage points on 2013) named
Australasia in their wish list with both Australia
and New Zealand maintaining their positions at
first and third in the chart. Older travellers are
more likely to choose Australia (56 per cent for
35+ vs. 51 per cent for under-35s).
Asia is next with 53 per cent of the vote, although
only Singapore in eighth place, down from sixth,
and Hong Kong in ninth, down from seventh,
make the Top 10. The continent is slightly more
popular amongst younger travellers (61 per cent
for the under-35s vs. 50 per cent for 35+).
North America is also a popular choice with
42 per cent of respondents, up from 37 per cent
last year, placing the USA once again in fourth
place and Canada rising four places to sixth.
Although Latin America only received votes from
19 per cent of travellers, this is six percentage
points higher than 12 months ago, so the region
is the fastest-growing area of interest.
According to the number of room nights booked
on the Hotels.com Chinese website in 2013, the
first four places saw no change over 2012 with
the USA, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan all
maintaining their positions.
This chapter examines where Chinese travellers say
they would most like to visit in the next twelve months in
comparison with the destinations they visited in 2013, which
countries they consider the most welcoming and which
destinations they are currently searching for on the
Hotels.com Chinese site.
Top 10 destinations Chinese travellers would like to travel to compared with the destinations they actually travelled to
Statue of Liberty, New York, USA
As more and more Chinese travellers journeyed
further afield, Europe became a more popular
choice during the year with the next three slots
occupied by France climbing up five places,
the UK as a new entrant and Italy up one.
Three other Asian countries completed the
Top 10 with South Korea slipping one to eighth
place, Taiwan entering the chart in ninth and
Malaysia dropping four places to tenth.
39% 28%29% 28%
When asked which countries Chinese
travellers think are most welcoming to them,
Australia, the country that also heads the wish
list, came out on top with an impressive
39 per cent of respondents, with Singapore
(29 per cent) in second place and three
countries tying for third on 28 per cent:
France, New Zealand and South Korea.
Asia, with four entries in the Top 10, and
Europe, with three, emerged as the continents
Chinese travellers consider are most
welcoming to them (62 per cent each) with
Australasia on 49 per cent and North America
some way behind on 37 per cent.
Top 10 countries deemed most welcoming to Chinese travellers
3=. South Korea
6. Hong Kong
3=. New Zealand
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, AustraliaWheretogo
Top overseas destinations by number of searches during Jan-May 2014 on the
Hotels.com Chinese website
1 Hong Kong
7 New York
10 Las Vegas
Looking ahead, Hong Kong is at the top
of the list of destinations searched for on
the Hotels.com Chinese website during the
first five months of 2014, with a further five
Asian destinations occupying the next five
places and a further seven elsewhere in the
table. These are primarily the major capitals
of the region but three holiday hotspots are
also featured: Phuket in eleventh place,
Chiang Mai in sixteenth and Boracay Island
taking the final spot.
The highest ranked city outside Asia is
New York in seventh place and there
are three other US cities: Las Vegas in
tenth, Los Angeles in twelfth and San
Francisco in seventeenth. Paris in ninth
place is the most popular European
choice with London the only other
destination from the region in thirteenth.
Dubai, the city where Chinese travellers
paid the most on average for hotel rooms in
2013, is in nineteenth place.
12 Los Angeles
15 Kuala Lumpur
16 Chiang Mai
17 San Francisco
20 Boracay Island
How to choose8.
A wide range of factors are taken into account by
Chinese travellers when making a decision about
where to go abroad, from personal security,
value-for-money and local events to cleanliness,
the ease of the visa application process and the
weather. Several of these are critical enough to
deter many travellers from visiting.
Safety is the primary concern and a growing
one chosen by just under half the respondents
(48 per cent, up five percentage points from
2013), while almost three out of five (59 per
cent) say that anxieties over safety would put
them off booking altogether. Forty-six per cent
also say the political situation would also be
a deterrent to travelling. Political tensions,
most recently with Malaysia over the missing
Malaysian Airlines aircraft but also in other
areas, can cause a switch of allegiance over
where to go, whether for the medium or long-
term remains to be seen.
The availability of historical and heritages
sites is again the second most important
consideration when deciding where to visit
(37 per cent), followed by the cuisine (29 per
Chinese travellers show themselves to be
slightly less cost-conscious this year with
26 per cent listing value-for-money as one of
the top decision-making factors, compared
with 30 per cent in 2013. Shopping is also
gaining ground at 23 per cent, up
six percentage points from last year.
As more and more countries improve their visa
application process for Chinese travellers, the
ease of applying for a visa has fallen slightly in
importance (16 per cent in 2014 vs. 19 per cent
in 2013) but a quarter of respondents (25 per
cent) say that this is still an issue that would
stop them visiting a particular destination.
Older travellers are more likely to be concerned
with safety (51 per cent for 35+ vs. 40 per
cent for under-35s) and are more interested in
historical/heritage sites (39 per cent vs. 32 per
cent respectively), and value-for-money (27 per
cent vs. 23 per cent respectively).
Younger travellers are more inclined to say
that cuisine of the destination is an important
factor (36 per cent for under-35s vs. 26 per cent
for 35+), as is shopping (27 per cent vs. 22 per
cent) and local seasonal/festive events (13 per
cent vs. 11 per cent).
Of least importance to Chinese travellers are
issues such as the medical facilities (two per
cent, the currency exchange rate (three per
cent) and the nightlife (three per cent).
Unfortunately, outside the remit of governments
and the travel industry alike, the climate
and/or weather played a key role in the minds
of 23 per cent of respondents who say that
whether a destination is too hot/too cold or too
wet/too dry is enough to prevent them visiting.
This chapter examines the factors that help Chinese
travellers decide where to go and what would stop
them travelling altogether to a particular spot.
Most important factors when choosing the next international
Bad public transport
Ease of visa
9. Spending power
Where Chinese travellers pay the most
This section looks at the average prices paid
per night by Chinese travellers for their hotel
accommodation on the Hotels.com Chinese
website during 2013, according to the
Hotels.com Hotel Price IndexTM
for that period.
Dubai, with its high occupancy levels and
range of upmarket hotels, occupied the top
of the table on an average 1,862 RMB for the
year, followed by two US favourites not far
behind: Honolulu on 1,812 RMB and New York
on 1,713 RMB.
Prices paid in Europe are farther back with
the highest average of 1,555 RMB recorded in
Zurich, followed by London on 1,535 RMB and
Paris on 1,479 RMB.
The highest placed Asian destination is
Singapore on 1,437 RMB with the popular Thai
holiday island of Koh Samui on 1,391 RMB.
Where the Chinese are top spenders
According to the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index
for the full year 2013, Chinese international
travellers were the top spenders for hotel
accommodation in four countries – Australia,
Japan, Netherlands and New Zealand, up
from just one in 2012.
This chapter examines where Chinese travellers pay
the most for their hotel rooms while travelling abroad
and the countries where they have become the top
spending nation on accommodation.
Dubai — 1,862 RMB
New York — 1,713 RMB
Geneva — 1,453 RMB
London — 1,535 RMB
Nice — 1,422 RMB
Honolulu — 1,812 RMB
Zurich — 1,555 RMB
Singapore — 1,437 RMB
Paris — 1,479 RMB
Koh Samui — 1,391 RMB
Overall, Chinese international travellers
were the seventh highest spending
nationality on hotel rooms when travelling
abroad in 2013 with an average rate of
1,031 RMB (US$1689
) per room night.
Countries where Chinese travellers were
amongst the Top 10 biggest spenders on hotel
New Zealand 1st
South Korea 6th
Tokyo Tower, Japan
What to do10.
Most popular activities
When travelling abroad, Chinese travellers
say that sightseeing (73 per cent), dining
(64 per cent) and shopping (56 per cent)
remain the most popular activities, with the
latter adding five percentage points from 2013.
Older travellers (aged 35+) tend to show a
higher level of interest in more traditional
holiday pursuits such as sightseeing
(74 per cent), visiting beaches (38 per cent)
and museums, galleries etc (22 per cent).
They are also twice as likely as younger
travellers to want to go on organised
tours (14 per cent vs. 7 per cent).
Younger travellers (under-35s) are more
interested in urban pastimes such as dining
(69 per cent), shopping (61 per cent) and going
to see shows/concerts (10 per cent).
Taking part in sport and gambling both dropped
two percentage points to three per cent each
in 2014, compared with 2013, staying the least
popular pastimes, in spite of the high number of
travellers who visit Macau for this purpose.
This chapter examines the types of activities away from
the hotel that are most popular amongst Chinese travellers
and on which of these they spend the most money.
By far the most money is spent by Chinese
travellers on shopping (52 per cent) with
sightseeing (18 per cent) and dining (14 per
cent) some way behind in second and third
place. There are some variations between
different types of travel: business travellers are
more likely to spend more on shopping (61 per
cent), accompanied by a notably higher spend
per day (9,159 RMB/US$1,483 vs. 6,707 RMB/
for all travellers).
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sightseeing 73% 18% Sightseeing
Dining 64% 14% Dining
Shopping 56% 52% Shopping
Visiting beaches 36% 3% Visiting beaches
Museums & galleries 20% 2% Museums & galleries
Countryside/Rural pursuits 17% 2% Countryside/Rural pursuits
Organised tours 12% 6% Organised tours
Arts & culture 7% 2% Arts & culture
Taking part in sport 3% 1% Taking part in sport
Gambling 3% 2% Gambling
Activities where Chinese travellers
spend the most money
Most popular activities for Chinese
travellers when travelling internationally
Most popular activities for Chinese tourists
The online bias11.
With more than 618 million internet users in
, Chinese travellers use many
online sources throughout the travel process
before they travel to research and book the
trip, while they are at their hotel and to share
photos and experiences with family and friends,
either during the journey or on their return.
Before they go, they use a range of
online sources when they are deciding on
their holiday destination, such as online
accommodation/travel websites (48 per cent)
and online review sites (47 per cent), which are
most relied on when making their decision.
Over a third use online booking methods to
reserve accommodation (36 per cent), while
nearly a fifth book through mobile apps
(17 per cent).
As described earlier, the availability of free
Wi-Fi is a very important hotel facility
for Chinese travellers with over half
(59 per cent) rating it as important and
one in five saying it is something that
needs improvement (19 per cent).
Ninety-one per cent of Chinese internet users
reportedly have a social media account12
Many Chinese travellers now share their
photos and experiences on social media
during and after an international trip
(84 per cent total), rising to more than nine
out of 10 among younger travellers aged
under-35 (93 per cent), although it is also
popular with older travellers (81 per cent).
This chapter brings together some earlier insights in
the report on the importance of the internet for Chinese
international travellers, together with some new data on
the trend for sharing details of their trip more publicly.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) of those aged 35
and under also share their photos/experiences
on travel review sites. Older travellers are
more likely to use email to send messages/
pictures (31 per cent for 35+ vs. 23 per cent for
under-35) and they are more inclined to show
people conventional printout photos in person
compared to younger travellers
(17 per cent for 35+ vs. 14 per cent for
Travellers who prefer to make their own
travel arrangements lean more towards
social media (88 per cent vs. 77 per cent)
and travel review sites (32 per cent vs.
20 per cent) for sharing, compared to those
preferring to travel in organised tour groups.
Those travelling in organised tour groups
on the other hand are more prone to
showing friends and relatives conventional
printout photos compared to independent
travellers (19 per cent vs. 15 per cent).
Those using mobile apps to book their
accommodation are more likely to use
social media (94 per cent vs. 84 per cent
total), with WeChat the most popular
(73 per cent vs.68 per cent total).
Those with a higher income (100,000+ RMB/
) are inclined to use any of
the photo and experiences sharing methods
compared to those in lower income bands.
A travel review
WeChat Online photo
Method of sharing photos and experiences during or after an international trip
A closer look at traveller profiles12.
Chinese women travel slightly more frequently
for leisure than Chinese men (4.86 trips
abroad vs. 4.49 for men in the past five
years) and there is evidence that the number
of international trips Chinese women take
is increasing (4.86 vs. 3.61 for 2013).
As seen previously, Chinese women are more
likely than men to travel abroad to see friends
and/or relatives (27 per cent vs. 22 per cent
for men) and for leisure (90 per cent vs. 85 per
cent), though there has been a decline in women
travelling for education purposes since last
year (6 per cent vs. 12 per cent seen in 2013).
Sightseeing, dining and shopping are
particularly popular amongst Chinese female
travellers (sightseeing 74 per cent vs. 72 per
cent, dining 67 per cent vs. 61 per cent and
shopping 60 per cent vs. 51 per cent). This is
a change from last year when women were
slightly less interested in sightseeing compared
to men (72 per cent vs. 78 per cent for men).
Women are slightly more likely than
men to choose to make their own travel
arrangements rather than pick an organised
tour (68 per cent vs. 65 per cent for men)
Women are also keener to use friends (54 per
cent vs. 50 per cent for men), family (44 per
cent vs. 40 per cent for men), promotions/deals
(33 per cent vs. 29 per cent) and online blogs
(24 per cent vs. 20 per cent) when making their
holiday decisions. Other people’s experiences/
opinions are still important to Chinese
female travellers as they rely most on
online review sites (15 per cent), family
(14 per cent) and friends (14 per cent).
Women most prefer to stay in independent
hotels with local flavour (42 per cent) and
international chain hotels (41 per cent). In
contrast to 2013, Chinese women are now
slightly less likely to prefer independent
hotels with local flavour compared to
men (42 per cent vs. 44 per cent).
Last year, women had been particularly keen
to book hotels with an independent, local
feel (54 per cent in 2013). However, this has
declined and women are now equally keen to
book international chain hotels (42 per cent
independent vs. 41 per cent chain hotel).
When it came to hotel facilities, having Wi-Fi/
internet access is most important (69 per cent
women), compared to the on-site restaurant
being most important in 2013; women are slightly
more inclined to say the on-site spa is important
(13 per cent vs. 9 per cent for men) and less so
the bar (six per cent vs. 10 per cent for men).
The gap between men and women spending
the most money on the spa facilities in hotels
has closed and now men are nearly as likely
as women to spend the most on this part of
the hotel (eight per cent vs. six per cent).
This section brings together the results recorded by
various traveller groups, highlighting the differences
from the norm.
When thinking about their next holiday
destination, women more often mention
cuisine (32 per cent vs. 27 per cent for
men) and slightly less frequently historical
and heritage sites (35 per cent vs. 39 per
cent for men). All other factors are equally
important to both women and men.
On average, women spend more per
day during their international trips
compared to men (7,902 RMB/US$1,279
vs. 5,524 RMB/US$89414
Women and men use the same online
channels to share experiences and photos
from their trip: the two preferred sites are
WeChat (68 per cent) and Weibo (62 per
cent). They also use online photo albums
(38 per cent) or show others their photos on a
screen (32 per cent) or conventional printout
photos (16 per cent both women and men).
The average number
of trips abroad in the
last 5 years taken
by Chinese women
of Chinese women
make their own
Average daily spend in RMB
when travelling abroad
Business travellers continue to be younger on
average (36 per cent under-35 compared to
30 per cent of leisure travellers) and half
(51 per cent) of all business travellers live in
one of China’s most prosperous provinces.
As seen previously, business travellers are more
likely to book top-end accommodation such as
4 star (32 per cent vs. 28 per cent total) or 5-star
(27 per cent vs. 17 per cent total) hotels.
International hotel chains are clearly the most
popular choice for business travellers (53 per
cent), having seen a substantial increase since
2013 (from 35 per cent to 53 per cent).
When choosing accommodation, comfort/star-
rating is most important (36 per cent vs.30 per cent
total and 32 per cent in 2013) while price matters
slightly less (six per cent vs. 10 per cent total).
When thinking about their next holiday
destination, value for money is slightly less of a
concern for business travellers (21 per cent vs.
26 per cent total) whilst shopping opportunities
are considered a higher priority (32 per cent vs.
23 per cent total).
They are inclined to spend more on an average
day during their trip (average 9,159 RMB/
US$1,483 vs. 6,707 RMB/US$1,086 total15
Looking at individual countries, business
travellers’ top three countries most welcoming
to Chinese travellers are Australia (43 per
cent), New Zealand (33 per cent) and France
(32 per cent).
of business travellers
are under 35
of business travellers
stay in 4 or 5 star
Average daily spend in RMB
by business travellers
when travelling abroad
The CITM research explodes the myth that
Chinese travellers only travel in groups.
Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents say
they now prefer to make their own international
arrangements, and there is evidence that this is
increasing when compared to 62 per cent in 2013.
Younger travellers still prefer to travel
independently than their older counterparts
(81 per cent for those under-35 vs. 52 per cent
for those over 35).
Independent travellers tend to be wealthier
(271,883 RMB/US$44,018 average annual
salary vs. 245,729 RMB/US$39,783 total16
and, on average, they have a much higher
daily spend (7,956 RMB/US$1,28815
to those preferring organised tour groups
Trips organised independently are more likely
to be longer than those organised through tour
groups (1.5 weeks vs. 1.3 weeks respectively).
Consumer reviews are evident in terms of their
impact on independent Chinese travellers.
Online review sites are the most influential
(19 per cent, on par with levels seen in
2013), followed by recommendations from
friends and families (15 per cent) and online
accommodation sites (15 per cent).
Similar to Chinese travellers overall,
independent travellers list safety as the most
important factor when thinking about their
next international holiday destination but less
so than group travellers (45 per cent vs.
54 per cent). Historical and heritage site are
also important, though again less important
of Chinese travellers
prefer to make their own
use social media share
their photos and experiences
of travel abroad
Average annual salary in
RMB of independent
It is a truism but social media has much more
of an influence on younger travellers when
deciding on travel destinations, with two fifths
using this as a source of information (42 per
cent vs. 29 per cent for 35+). One in ten
under-35s say that this is the source they rely
upon most. Social media is also important to
younger travellers when travelling abroad, with
nine in ten (93 per cent) saying that they share
their experiences and photos on social media
while away. The most popular networks are
WeChat (76 per cent) and Weibo (74 per cent).
As was seen in 2013, younger travellers are
more interested in booking accommodation
directly (57 per cent vs. 42 per cent 35+) or
through an online travel company (22 per cent
vs. 17 per cent). Older travellers are twice as
likely to use travel agents as those under-35
(40 per cent vs. 20 per cent under-35).
Younger travellers are still notably more
likely than older travellers to prefer travelling
independently (81 per cent vs. 60 per cent for
35+) and are more interested in doing so than
last year (81 per cent vs. 73 per cent for 2013).
The under-35s lean towards travelling with
family members other than a spouse or children
(50 per cent vs. 44 per cent for 35+) and friends
(50 per cent vs. 42 per cent for 35+).
In 2013, younger travellers were slightly more
prone to opt for budget accommodation
(1-3* hotels, hostels, B&Bs) than those 35 and
over. However, this year travellers under-35
are as likely as older travellers to book both
budget and luxury accommodation.
than for group travellers (32 per cent vs.
47 per cent). Independent travellers are
more likely, however, to consider cuisine
(33 per cent vs. 21 per cent for group travellers)
and shopping (26 per cent vs. 18 per cent
for group travellers) as most important.
Independent travellers are most keen to book
online, either through a website or mobile
device (67 per cent).
This year, they are more interested in staying
at an international chain hotel (42 per cent)
compared to 2013 when independent hotels
with a local flavour were preferred most (54 per
cent in 2013).
Independent travellers are more inclined
to share their experiences: three quarters
use social media to post their photos and
experiences during or when they return from
an international trip (73 per cent vs. 55 per cent
for group travellers), such as WeChat (70 per
cent vs. 64 per cent for organised groups) and
Weibo (68 per cent vs. 52 per cent organised
groups) as well as travel review sites (32 per
cent vs. 20 per cent for group travellers).
Although European destinations are most
popular overall with younger visitors
(77 per cent), they are notably more
interested in visiting Asian destinations than
their older counterparts (60 per cent vs.
50 per cent for those 35+), perhaps because
the older generation often travel with families
and therefore choose somewhere closer or
because they may have already visited their
closest neighbours and want to spread their
In terms of what is important to younger
travellers when thinking about their next
international holiday destination, safety is still
the number one concern (40 per cent) although
they are still less worried about this than older
travellers (51 per cent for those 35+). The
cuisine of the destination and shopping are
still more important aspects of a destination for
young Chinese travellers compared to those
over 35 (36 per cent vs. 26 per cent for cuisine,
and 27 per cent vs. 22 per cent for shopping).
They are less interested in historical or heritage
sites (32 per cent vs. 39 per cent for 35+).
Sightseeing remains the most popular
activity for the under-35s, as for all travellers.
However, shopping is the activity that younger
Chinese travellers spend most of their money
on while travelling (54 per cent), being
slightly more likely to do so than their older
counterparts (51 per cent for 35+).
of under-35s consult
social media when
planning a trip away.
of under-35s prefer
to travel independently.
under-35s spend the
most money on
shopping when abroad.
The term shopper here is defined as someone
who choses shopping as one of their top
three favourite activities when travelling
internationally. They are somewhat more likely
to be female (54 per cent vs. 50 per cent total)
and travel more often for leisure (5.6 trips over
the last five years vs. 4.7 total) and business
(5.1 trips over the last five years vs. 4.1 total).
They are slightly more inclined to opt for
independent travel (72 per cent vs. 67 per
cent total) and, like other travellers, are more
inclined to book accommodation directly
(48 per cent). Shoppers tend to consult a wider
range of information sources before deciding
on destinations (5.1 compared to 4.8 total) and
are more likely to use social media (38 per cent
vs. 33 per cent overall).
In terms of the factors that are important when
choosing a destination, obviously shopping
is of greater significance to this group than
other Chinese travellers (35 per cent vs.
23 per cent total), but they also tend to mention
cuisine more often (32 per cent vs. 29 per cent
total). Historical/heritage sites appeal slightly
less to Chinese shoppers than other Chinese
travellers (33 per cent vs. 37 per cent total).
As may be expected, they are more affluent
(279,972 RMB/US$45,327 vs. 245,730 RMB/
) and spend notably more
on an average day abroad than most Chinese
travellers (7,991 RMB/US$1,294 vs.
6,707 RMB/US$1,086 total17
). They are also
more disposed to opt for luxury accommodation
types than other travellers (58 per cent vs.
52 per cent total).
In terms of their tastes, shoppers are more
interested in international chain hotels than
other travellers (48 per cent vs. 39 per cent
total) and prefer accommodation that caters
specifically to them but will consider others
where necessary (63 per cent). Comfort/star-
rating/facilities are slightly more important to
them when choosing accommodation (34 per
cent vs. 30 per cent total).
As with other travellers, shoppers saw the
provision of facilities such as China Union Pay
and Alipay as the most important Chinese
service to be provided by accommodation when
travelling internationally (61 per cent). They
are also more likely to mention having a hotel
website in Chinese language (43 per cent vs.
38 per cent total), having a Chinese restaurant
on site (34 per cent vs. 31 per cent total) and
Chinese newspapers or magazines (28 per
cent vs. 25 per cent total).
On the whole, Chinese shoppers do not differ
significantly from travellers overall in terms
of the destinations they would like to visit,
although they would choose Asian destinations
slightly more (57 per cent vs. 53 per cent total).
Shoppers are also aligned with other travellers
in believing Asian and European destinations to
be most welcoming to Chinese visitors (63 per
cent and 64 per cent respectively).
Average annual salary
in RMB of international shoppers
Average daily spend
in RMB of international
shoppers prefer to
Many of the world’s leading hotels have already
introduced specially-designed services and
products aimed at providing a warm reception
for their Chinese guests. Hilton Hotels group
has its Huanying (“Welcome”) programme and
Marriott has Li Yu (“Serve with courtesy), while
the Intercontinental Hotels Group introduced
its HUALUXE brand of properties in China
Hyatt Regency, Chicago
Alongside more than 40 other Hyatt hotels, the
Hyatt Regency in Chicago has introduced the
Nin Hao programme, a new initiative tailor-
made for Chinese guests, in response to the
increasing number of Chinese guests it is
Nin Hao means “a warm welcome with respect”
in Mandarin and includes a welcome letter,
maps and information brochures in Chinese,
a Chinese TV channel and a direct 24-hour
line to a Mandarin-speaking associate. There
are also slippers, robes and a tea kettle with
special cups and teas, as well as a Chinese
food menu on request.
The hotel has noted that their Chinese guests
have appreciated this attention to detail and the
extra services being provided, particularly by
their tour group visitors.
(HUALUXE translates from Hua, which means
majestic China and luxe, representing luxury).
However, smaller independents have taken on
board the issues raised by Chinese travellers in
the CITM and have also recognised the need to
offer a more tailored approach.
Hyatt Regency, Chicago, USA
Lotte Hotel, Jeju
China took over as South Korea’s largest
inbound market for the first time in 2013. On
Jeju, Lotte Hotel Jeju is a luxury resort, part of
Lotte Hotels & Resorts, which opened in 2000
in the heart of Jungmun Tourism Complex in
the south of the island. They have seen their
Chinese guests more than double in number
in recent years and predict that this growth will
continue as more and more Chinese travellers
are attracted to the province.
Amongst other service and marketing initiatives,
the hotel organises activity programmes
specifically for their Chinese guests, including
various outdoor pursuits such as Olle hiking.
They have also designed a character room
based on the cartoon character Hello Kitty
which is very popular with their Chinese
Latte Hotel, Jeju, South Korea
Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel
With more than four and a half million Chinese
travellers visiting Thailand last year, the
Pullman Bangkok King Power recorded a
66 per cent increase in Chinese guests between
2012 and 2013, with 85 per cent now travelling
independently rather than in an organised group.
The hotel has introduced a number of
services to help such as Mandarin-speaking
staff to welcome their guests and provide
any assistance. They have also prepared
various materials in Mandarin such as
welcome and other internal signage as well
as the hotel website. The majority of their
Chinese guests are keen to eat in the hotel
and have a preference for Thai or Chinese
food as opposed to more Western items.
Their large international breakfast buffet
offers a Chinese corner with dim sum,
congee, noodles, etc, is particularly popular.
Harnessing the power of social media
amongst this group, the hotel initiated
a promotion through Weibo to win cash
vouchers. With the Chinese interest in
shopping, the hotel also offers discounts at
the King Power Duty Free Shopping Mall,
which has direct access from the hotel.
Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel, Bangkok, ThailandCasestudies
dusitD2 Hotel, Chiang Mai
With so many Chinese travellers now visiting
Thailand, the dusitD2 Hotel in Chiang Mai is
doing its best to make sure that it attracts its
share of these guests. The hotel’s website
is available in several languages including
Mandarin to help travellers research and
plan their trip. Twenty-four hour Mandarin-
speaking staff are on hand to offer further
assistance, Chinese tea is offered in the
guest rooms and the Devarana Spa’s
menu is also produced in Mandarin.
At the hotel’s Moxie restaurant, a variety
of noodles is served all day while, for
their group customers, Chinese-style
breakfast is also available upon request.
The location of the hotel is also appealing to
Chinese guests as the dusitD2 Chiang Mai is
located in the midst of the seven-day shopping
street Night Bazaar, selling everything from
upmarket clothes to antiques and handicrafts.
It is perhaps no surprise that Chinese tourist
numbers have spiked so dramatically since the
film Lost in Thailand, positioning Thailand as
a wonderful holiday destination, was released
in 2012. It was mostly shot in Chiang Mai
and was successful throughout China, where
it is one of the top three highest grossing
films of all time. This prompted the hotel to
introduce more high-tech connectivity to its
property to draw in more Chinese guests.
dusitD2 Hotel, Chiang Mai, ThailandCasestudies
Chinese visitors to Australia and New Zealand
now form the second largest inbound tourism
group to both countries.
In response to this, Accor in Australia was the
first hotel group to introduce Optimum Service
Standards for Chinese guests. The programme
includes Mandarin-speaking staff, translation
of hotel welcome kits, business cards, area
maps and in-room menus, adaptor plugs and
Chinese newspapers provided to guests.
Hotel mini-bars stock Chinese teas and the
breakfast buffet include Congee, soups and
noodles with Chinese utensils.
Accor Hotels also noticed that Chinese visitors
are becoming increasingly sophisticated and
have high expectations in terms of service. It is
no longer just about big group shopping tours,
although they still exist. Chinese travellers
come to Australia and New Zealand to
experience natural wonders, food & wine and
personalised travel experiences. So an integral
component of the Optimum Service Standards
is special training for Accor staff in cultural
differences that will assist them to serve
Chinese guests more respectfully.
Accor is constantly building on its Chinese
relationships and developing new ways to
target this market. Since launch, the
50+ Australian hotels in the programme have
recorded a 20 per cent increase in market
share and 31 per cent growth year-on-year. In
New Zealand, the eight accredited hotels have
seen an 11.7 per cent increase in Chinese
guests in 2013 compared to 2012.
Accor Hotels Sydney Olympic HotelCasestudies
London Edition Hotel
The UK hotel industry is planning for higher
numbers of Chinese visitors, following the
recent announcement from the government of
the relaxation in visa regulations.
Opened in September 2013, the London
Edition Hotel tends to attract younger, more
affluent independent Chinese travellers
with its focus on high levels of individual
design, great style and outstanding service.
Mandarin-speaking staff are on hand to help
guests and its convenient location just north
of Oxford Street, the capital’s major shopping
thoroughfare, is an added draw.
The hotel’s signature concept restaurant, the
Berners Tavern, is run by British Michelin-
starred chef Jason Atherton who also has
several establishments in Singapore and Hong
Kong where he is well-known. The Chinese
clientele come from both within the hotel
and off the street as they feel comfortably
familiar with his name. The profile of its
Chinese customers means that they are more
adventurous when it comes to trying the locally-
inspired dishes served in the restaurant, rather
than their more accustomed fare at home.
The Edition brand is moving into China,
opening hotels in Sanya, Shanghai and Wuhan
over the next couple of years and will always
instill its one-of-a kind properties with a their
own sense of place to reflect their environment.
London Edition Hotel, London, UKCasestudies
Country initiatives targeting
Chinese outbound visitors
According to Tourism Australia, there were
709,000 Chinese visitor arrivals in the country
in 2013, an increase of 14.5 per cent on 2012,
generating AU$4.8 billion in total expenditure
in 2013. The Tourism 2020 Strategy estimates
that China has the potential to grow to between
AU$7.4 billion and AU$9 billion in total
expenditure by 2020. Chinese visitors are now
only behind New Zealand in terms of visitor
numbers to Australia, having overtaken the UK.
One in four of Tourism Australia’s international
marketing dollars go towards promoting
Australia to China. Tourism Australia has a
key focus on attracting Chinese visitors to
Australia and continues to roll out the China
2020 strategy, which was launched in 2011.
During 2013, the organisation implemented
the following as part of that strategy:
• A new Chinese consumer website, australia.
cn, was launched. It provides a tailored user
experience and links to translated information
from the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse
as well as key Chinese social media platforms.
• Partnership marketing campaigns were
undertaken with States and Territory
Tourism Organisations, Wine Australia
and the Great Golf Courses of Australia,
Tourism Victoria and Crown, Tourism and
Events Queensland as well as all major
airlines in China, collectively reaching more
than 22 million Chinese consumers.
• Marketing agreements were signed by
Tourism Australia with China Southern
Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Air China,
China UnionPay, and China Travel Service.
• Leveraging the Asia Marketing Fund,
Tourism Australia accelerated its geographic
expansion strategy in China, beginning
trade and consumer marketing activities
in Chengdu, Chongqing and Qingdao.
• A campaign which retains the “There is
Nothing Like Australia’’ brand translated
into Mandarin in Shanghai was unveiled.
An AU$600,000 Strategic Tourism Investment
Grant was awarded to a consortium, which
includes the Australian Tourism Export Council
(ATEC), to deliver a National China Ready
programme. It will tap into the knowledge of
experts who will teach tourism businesses
how to cater for the China market.
In addition, Sichuan Airlines began its Chengdu -
Melbourne service in February 2013, marking the
first direct service from Western China to Australia.
This chapter examines some of the initiatives taken
around the world by countries to attract more Chinese
visitors, whether by increased marketing activity,
relaxing visa regulations or increasing flight services.
According to CITM findings, France is the
highest European country on the Chinese
traveller wish list and is also considered
the most welcoming European nation.
Chinese tourists are now the second biggest
group of visitors to France after the US.
Since January 2014, the time it takes for the
visa application process has been reduced
from 12 to two days. According to the French
foreigner minister Laurent Fabius, there are
more than one million Chinese travellers
each year in France but, thanks to the new
visa regulations, this could jump to between
three and five million. Since the revisions
were put in place, Chinese visa demand
has already increased by 40 per cent.
Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Paris
in March to mark the 50th anniversary of
full diplomatic relations between the two
countries. France recognised the People’s
Republic of China in 1964, earlier than many
Western countries, and this forms part of the
French assertion of a special relationship.
A year-long celebration of this event began
at the Grand Palais museum in Paris and
included a solo performance by Lang Lang,
the celebrated Chinese pianist. In China,
there are exhibitions showcasing the works
of leading French artists such as Monet and
the sculptor Rodin. China was also the guest
of honour at the Paris art fair in March, while
France will be in the spotlight at the Western
China International Fair in Sichuan province,
home of the country’s pandas, later in the year.
Palace of Versailles, Paris, FranceCountryinitiativestargetingChineseoutboundvisitors
2014 has been designated the Year of Friendly
Exchanges between India and China which
will see wide-ranging interactions at different
levels in the field of culture, business and
defence. This includes a large scale cultural
extravaganza entitled ‘Glimpses of India’,
organised by the Indian Tourism Ministry,
featuring Indian performing arts, exhibitions
of modern Indian art and calligraphy, visual
and photographic exhibitions on Buddhist
heritage of India and its links with China. This
was launched in Beijing in May with a dance
performance by a troupe from the famous
The year-long festival will be spread across
major Chinese cities and will depict India’s
scientific achievements, food and films as
well as events involving eminent Indian and
Chinese scholars and writers. Tourism and
business promotion events will also constitute
key components. An effort will be made to
connect with Chinese youth by holding lectures
and cultural events in universities.
Ahead of this festival, India announced a new
streamlined visa policy under which business
and tourist visas will be processed within
two days to encourage Chinese visitors with
immediate effect and without any extra charges.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
A new website, the China Toolkit, was
launched to help the New Zealand tourism
sector deliver quality experiences to Chinese
visitors. The Toolkit is an output of the China
Market Review, released in early 2013 by the
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key.
Tourism New Zealand is continuing to build
its presence in China using Chinese social
media, with two successful events promoted
using Douban for the first time. The Douban
account complements Tourism New Zealand’s
main social activity on Weibo in promoting
New Zealand as a holiday destination. The
first event, the ‘Who’s your favourite Hobbit
character?’ flash campaign, was launched to
support the first Hobbit film release in China
in February 2013. The Hobbit was released
in China, as one of only 34 Western films to
be released in China every year, in January
2013. A second campaign in April called ‘DIY
your own NZ trip’ increased Tourism New
Zealand Weibo fans more than six-fold.
According to the New Zealand Tourism
Board, the number of Chinese tourists visiting
New Zealand in 2013 jumped 16 per cent
year-on-year to 228,928 and total expenditure
by Chinese tourists rose seven per cent on
year to NZ$723 million. China is now New
Zealand’s second largest tourist market.
In April 2013, New Zealand began to allow
Chinese tourists to extend the length of
multiple-entry visitor visas for independent
travellers. If they return within two years,
they don’t have to repeat the visa application
process. A new bi-lingual China section on
the Immigration New Zealand website has
also been introduced to make it easier for
Chinese visitors to lodge a visa application.
Tourism New Zealand launched its Premier
Kiwi Partnership (PKP) programme in
2013. Eleven inbound tour operators and
eighteen China-based travel sellers were
selected to participate in this incentive-based
programme aimed at developing, marketing
and promoting longer stay and higher quality
itineraries for Chinese tours to New Zealand.
Five of China’s best-known celebrities fronted
an advertising campaign for Tourism New
Zealand in which they shared their personal
holiday stories to encourage potential
travellers to travel like a star in New Zealand.
The five celebrities included the editor of
the largest Chinese language infotainment
web-portal Sina Outdoor, a TV celebrity with
a love of good food, a fashion designer, a
chief journalist and online TV talkshow host,
and a music producer and TV host. Together
they profiled the five key travel themes for
Chinese travellers: adventure, food and wine,
romance, Middle-earth and relaxation.
Auckland, New Zealand
China became the largest inbound market
for South Korea for the first time in 201318
as the number of its visitors exceeded
those from Japan, with 4,327,000 Chinese
travellers visiting the country in 2013,
a 52.5 per cent increase on 2012.
In July 2013, the government announced
the expansion of the issuance of multiple
visas for Chinese nationals to their spouses
and children. Seoul will also issue multiple-
entry visas to Chinese nationals who have
memberships in condominiums in South
Korea worth 30 million KRW (US$27,000)
or higher and family register holders in
Beijing and Shanghai. Students from
112 colleges designated by the Chinese
government are also included on the list.
Also, foreign tourists visiting via cruises are
cleared to stay for three days on land for
sightseeing without immigration screening.
Local governments implemented various
marketing activities to attract Chinese
travellers. Suncheon generated promotional
materials and videos, arranged FAM tours
inviting major travel agencies and media
from China; Busan organised a FAM tour
for Chinese power bloggers, while cities on
the Eastern Sea Coast hosted a tourism
promotion event inviting major travel agencies
and related organisations from China.
During 2013, several new air routes were
added. Eastar Jet launched Cheongju-
Shenyang route and Jeju-Kunming, China’s
Juneyao Airlines introduced Yangyang-
Shanghai, its first flight route to Korea, Jeju
Air opened three new routes: Incheon-Weihai,
Busan-Zhangjiaje and Jeju-Wuhan, T’way
Air started a chartered plane operation
for Jeju-Guangzhou route and Korean Air
Air began Busan-Nanjing. Jin Air, which
had operated irregular flight services
from Jeju to Mudanjiang, Zhengzhou,
Xi’an and Nanchang in 2013, made them
a permanent service in April 2014.
That same month, Cheongju International
Airport was designated as an airport
that travellers transferring between
flights could enter without any visa
and stay for more than 72 hours.
Incheon Metropolitan Government is promoting
a visa waiver program for the Chinese
travellers to attract more to the casino in the
free economic zone in Yeongjong Island of
Incheon as well as to attract more travellers
to the Incheon Asian Games, later this year.
Busan, South Korea
In 2013, the total number of Chinese travellers
from mainland China visiting Taiwan was
2,874,702, against 972,132 in 2009 when
Chinese visitors officially overtook Japanese
visitors and became the top inbound market
for the first time. The most significant growth
happened in 2011, when Taiwan started
opening up to Chinese independent travellers.
According to the National Immigration Agency,
up until March 2014, the total number of
Chinese independent travellers had increased
177 per cent year-on-year, while Chinese group
travellers increased 17 per cent.
There were five times more visa applications
for the Chinese inbound travellers during the
Chinese New Year holiday in February 2014
and the number of Chinese group travellers
and independent travellers in April 2014 was
223,400 and 87,000 respectively, which both
broke the record of Chinese visitors in a single
month, according to the Tourism Bureau.
In 2013, restrictions for multiple-entry visas
were relaxed and, in April this year, the quota
for Chinese Flexible Independent Travellers
has risen from 3,000 per day to 4,000 per day.
Starting from 2015, the daily quota for Chinese
group travellers will be 5,000 people.
Taiwan has always been a popular destination
among Chinese travellers. The geographical
location across the Taiwan Strait allows easy
flight arrangements, ideal for long weekend
getaways. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is
promoting cross-strait business collaboration
through its “Meet Taiwan” project.
Chinese independent travellers like to stay at
fun-themed motels in Taiwan. Many motels
have culture-themed or playful décor design,
which makes them one of the must-see
places when visiting the country. Taiwan
HSR (high speed rail) is teaming up with
19 hotels throughout Taiwan, offering rail
and hotel packages to promote independent
travelling, offering discounts on quality
hotels. Hualien B&B owners offer rail ticket
plus accommodation package, targeting
Chinese independent travellers who have
trouble booking popular Hualien rail tickets.
Later this year, China Airlines plans to open
four new air routes from Taiwan, which brings
the number of destinations operated by the
airline in Mainland China to 32 cities with
150 cross-strait flights per week.
Chinese travellers were Thailand’s top inbound
tourist market in 2013 and 2012, although the
difference between the two years was dramatic.
The number in 2012 was 2,786,860, rising
dramatically to 4,637,335 last year, according
to the Thailand Department of Tourism.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and
Thai Airways International have invited media
representatives from five major cities of China
for a trip to survey touring routes in Bangkok,
Chonburi and Rayong to form a better
understanding of Thailand and build confidence
among Chinese tourists. The campaign is
expected to reach at least five million people.
There is also the “I Love Thailand” project to
penetrate the youth tourist market. The TAT
organised an online competition to select five
Chinese bloggers with the highest number
of followers from Chengdu City, Sichuan
Province and Chongqing, who traveled to
Thailand in March to visit tourist attractions in
Rayong, Chonburi, Ayutthaya and Angthong.
Everyone loves a good romantic comedy and
it is claimed that Lost in Thailand, a Chinese
film launched in 2012 encouraged Chinese
fans of the movie to travel in Thailand in
greater numbers to visit the filming locations.
Pathum Wan District, Bangkok, Thailand
According to the Office of National Statistics,
the UK recorded a nearly 40 per cent rise
in the number of visitor visas granted to
Chinese nationals in 2013, rising to 291,919,
but this pales in comparison to the
1.4 million Schengen visas granted during
the same period to visit 26 other European
In June 2014, the British government bowed
to pressure and announced plans to make
UK visas easier for Chinese travellers by
extending a pilot scheme whereby selected
Chinese travel agents could apply for UK visas
using the Schengen form to all visitors from
China. Chinese visitors who have secured
a visa for Ireland will, from the autumn, be
allowed to visit the UK without completing a
second application form. A new 24-hour “super
priority” visa service will also become available
from this summer, while the possibility of
extending this VIP mobile visa service outside
of Beijing and Shanghai is being examined.
VisitBritain launched its GREAT China
Welcome programme to support businesses
that are already “China-ready” and help those
who are not. Retail establishments are doing
all they can to woo visitors through their
doors: Harrods has 75 UnionPay terminals
installed throughout its Knightsbridge store.
Birmingham Airport became the country’s
first gateway to offer UK charter package
tours from China and the first UK airport
outside of London to launch direct charter
flights to China with the start of services by
China Southern Airlines this summer.
Westminster, London, United Kingdom
Italy has eased its visa application process
by allowing Chinese travellers to apply at
the Italian Embassy in Beijing or at one
of the consulates general closest to their
place of residence. In the past, they had
to visit the Embassy or consulate general
assigned to the location of their household
registration or temporary residence
permit. This is in recognition of the fact
that more people work in a city but have
their household registration elsewhere.
Chinese tourists to Switzerland increased
rapidly during the review period, registering
just under one million tourists in 2013, at a
CAGR of 35 per cent. This makes Switzerland
the fastest-growing European nation in terms
of inbound Chinese tourism. In response to
this, Switzerland Tourism began to train ski
instructors to speak Mandarin in 2014, in the
hope of attracting more Chinese skiers.
Norway has opened an additional visa
application centre in Shanghai where
it can process a higher number of
applications each day, compared to the
restricted facilities at the consulate.
Elsewhere in Europe
Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
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